London, September 3: Anthony Joshua could face Tyson Fury in their much-anticipated unification bout before the end of the year, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
IBF, WBA and WBO title holder Joshua wants to complete the collection by adding the WBC belt, which is currently held by Fury following his stoppage win over Deontay Wilder.
The pair were expected to meet in 2021 at the earliest, with Fury facing Wilder for a third time before then and mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev up next for Joshua.
However, Hearn revealed Joshua has not agreed a deal with Pulev and could yet take on Fury should Wilder opt against returning to the ring this year.
"I am the only one that has put [Joshua v Fury in 2021] in writing that the deal is agreed," Hearn told IFL TV.
"So, I have already written to their team saying, 'Just to let you know, we have agreed to the following deal.'
When opportunity knockspic.twitter.com/CjW0WEV84U— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) August 27, 2020
"I didn't actually get a reply, but I believe they do want the fight. So, we're ready for the fight."
He added: "I saw the comments about December. It's all very well saying, 'Well, if that doesn't happen in December, I'll fight you now.'
"We will fight you in December. If the world is ready for that fight, and these offers that are coming in are legit for that period in December, then we don't have a problem going into that fight.
"But [Fury's] under contract for another fight. We're not under contract yet, but we have to agree to terms with Pulev now. We probably will.
"We want to have an undisputed fight. So, by doing that, we fight Pulev, [Fury] fights Wilder.
"If we have to drop the WBO belt, then we worry about that then. But AJ doesn't have a problem with going into that [Fury] fight next. He understands that his obligation is to fight Pulev."
Wilder invoked a rematch clause to face Fury for a third time after losing his WBC and Ring Magazine titles to the 32-year-old in February.
However, a date has still not been officially pencilled in and Hearn has told Wilder to consider retiring if he does not step back into the ring with the Gypsy King.
"If Deontay Wilder doesn't take that rematch, he should retire from boxing," he said. "What's the point? You've been a world heavyweight champion, and now you've lost."